Roll up! Roll up!

Wherever you are in the world, you are cordially invited to join us in celebrating all things bookish and delicious by taking part in the 2nd Annual Playing By The Book’s
International Edible Book Festival!


Edible book festivals have been taking place around the world since 1999, but as there are none near me I decided last year to host an online festival for all of us who can’t get to a local edible book festival.

Photo courtesy of The Illustration Cupboard I am honoured and utterly delighted to announce that Bruce Ingman is this year’s Festival Patron!

I invited Bruce to be the festival’s patron after reading his wonderful new book, a collaboration with Allan Ahlberg, Hooray for Bread (which I will be reviewing shortly).

Entry information

To enter the festival you should create an edible book, take two photos of it and email them to me, by Wednesday March 20 2013 (please feel free to email me your pictures any time before then – it would be helpful if you didn’t leave it until March the 20th if possible).

NB One of your photos should include something that “time dates” the photo eg a newspaper, your computer monitor with this page in the background etc. This is to ensure that no-one submits photos of cakes they have simply found on the web. Your second photo should be the best photo you can take of your cake. I will use this photo in an online gallery of all submitted cakes.

In your submission email please include the title/author/illustrator of the book on which your edible book is based, and a sentence or two about what in particular inspired your edible book.

Children can enter, families can enter, bakers can enter. Even authors and illustrators can enter (maybe you’ll create an edible version of one of your printed books?). Do you run a children’s bookshop? Or library? Your customers (and you!) could enter… Are you a teacher? Maybe your pupils would like to enter? …Making an Edible Book is a great way to celebrate World Book Day on March 7th 🙂

Entries are welcome from all over the world, based on children’s books in any language. The only people who aren’t eligible to enter this competition are Bruce and myself.

Each family may enter up to two edible books to the festival.

What is an edible book?

Your creation can be anything as long as it is (theoretically) edible and is somehow children’s literature related.

For example, it could (1) look like a book, (2) be inspired by the content of a book, (3) look like a book character or be based on a book’s text – really, anything goes as long as there is a children’s book connection. Your edible book can be sweet or savoury, and whilst we won’t be judging based on taste, your edible book must be made out of edible ingredients. You might find inspiration on my Pinterest Edible Books board.

What we’re looking for is creativity and fun. We won’t be awarding prizes on the basis of who can ice a cake the most neatly!


I will create an anonymous online gallery of all entries. The gallery will be open for public viewing (ie by you, your friends, book-and-cake lovers around the world) from Friday 22 March until late night viewing ends on Wednsday 27 March.

Bruce will select the 3 winners from the gallery. He will not know who submitted which cake, thus his decision will be impartial and final.

Winners will be announced on Thursday 28 March 2013, when I will also host a link-up for all bloggers who took part and who wish to write a post about their entry to the festival. If you do wish to write a blog post about your Edible Book, please do not make it public before March 28 (in the interest of impartial judging I’d like there to be no way for the judge to know who created which Edible Book, until all judging has taken place).


  • 1st prize – A signed sketch by Bruce Ingman, plus a copy each of Hooray for Bread, The Runaway Dinner and Previously, all signed by both author and illustrator, Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman

  • 2nd Prize – A copy each of Hooray for Bread, The Runaway Dinner, Previously and The Pencil, all signed by both author and illustrator, Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman

  • 3rd Prize – A copy of Hooray for Bread signed by both Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman

  • As the festival is open worldwide, prizes will be posted (securely) to wherever the winners come from, so location is certainly no bar to participation.

    Spreading the word

    You can repost the poster image above for a quick blog post about the International Edible Book Festival – simply right click to save it on to your computer, and then upload it like any other image to your blog. The web poster is 450px wide.

    If you work in a library or a school and would like to encourage readers, staff, or students to enter, you can download an A4 poster advertising the International Edible Book Festival. Click here for the colour pdf file. If you’d prefer a black and white poster, click here.


    You can use this button (above) in your blog’s side bar. If downloading / uploading the image is too complicated, you should be able to get it to appear in your blog by copying and pasting this text wherever you wish the button to appear:

    <a href=""><img src="" /></a>

    Most importantly…

    Anyone, anywhere may enter the festival (apart from Bruce and me). You do not need to be a blogger, and you certainly do not need to be a pastry chef or a master baker. You can enter as an adult or a child or as a family – the most important thing is just to give it a go! This festival is about having fun, being creative, and just maybe having something nice to eat at the end of it all.

    Any questions? Get in touch via email, I look forward to lots of you joining in!

    Cook-book-113x130And if you do decide to take part in the Edible Book Festival, especially if you’re at a school or organisation, you might want to take a look at Book Aid International’s Bake for Books fundraising page. Book Aid are a great charity who do amazing work increasing access to books in sub-Saharan Africa. [Image: Clara Vulliamy for Book Aid International]

    8 Responses

    1. […] If you fancied a go yourself at using these ebooks for inspiration, why not enter playingbythebook’s Edible Book Festival Competition here […]

    2. […] If you fancied a go yourself at using these ebooks for inspiration, why not enter playingbythebook’s Edible Book Festival Competition here. […]

    3. […] here are our entries into the Edible Book Festival competition run by playingbythebook We had a lot of fun making them. We stocked up on supplies from Hobbycraft-who knew you could get […]

    4. […] As an avid reader and hobbyist cake decorator, I was delighted that my sister-in-law sent this […]

    5. […] una serie di immagini che ritraggono torte ispirate ai libri, molte di queste parteciperanno all’International Edible Book Festival 2013. Il Concorso è alla sua seconda edizione, a cui si può partecipare semplicemente inviando due […]

    6. […] 2013 and wherever you are in the world you are cordially invited to take part. For full details see here but to summarize, these are the steps to […]

    7. […] also an online festival, which is now in its second year, presented by Playing by the book. As the blogger Zoe Toft explains, she couldn’t find a festival near her, so she started her […]

    8. […] Toft is a book blogging UK friend who organized an edible book festival last year. She collects interesting bookish cakes on Pinterest that might provide inspiration. […]

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